Actor John Rhys-Davies has said Christianity is owed the “greatest debt of thanks” for making the world a better place.
Speaking with Christian Post at the 28th annual Movieguide Awards, The Lord of the Rings star said dismissing Christianity as “irrelevant” is the “detritus of rather ill read minds,” because Christianity is responsible for laying the foundation for freedom, democracy and equality.
“I count myself a rationalist and a sceptic, and I find myself constantly defending Christians and Christianity – and I find that wonderful because we seem to forget that Christian civilisation has made the world a better place than it ever was,” Rhys-Davis said.
“One of the great glories was the abolition of slavery, for instance.
“All the things we value, the right of free speech, the right of the individual conscience, these evolved in first and second century Roman Christendom, where the individual Christian said, ‘I have a right to believe what I believe and not what the emperor tells me,’” he added.
“From that, our whole idea of democracy and equality that we have has developed. We owe Christianity the greatest debt of thanks that a generation could ever have. And to slight it, and to dismiss it as being irrelevant is the detritus of rather ill read minds, I think.”
Rhys-Davies has been a defender of Christianity and Christians for some time now. During a 2015 interview, he criticised the Western world’s “extraordinary silence” due to political correctness when it comes to Christians suffering at the hands of Islamic extremists.
“Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out — I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country are doing nothing about it,” he said.
“This notion that we’ve evolved into a species that’s incapable of judging other groups and what they are doing, especially when it is beheading people or setting people on fire or throwing acid in the face of schoolgirls — like that kind of judging. It’s evolved!
“This is a unique age,” Rhys-Davies added. “We don’t want to be judgemental… It’s an age when politicians don’t actually say what they believe. They are afraid of being judged as partisan. Heaven forbid that we should criticise people who, after all, share a different value system.
“But it’s all equally relative,” he joked. “We’re all the same… and God and the devil, they’re the same, aren’t they, really? Right and wrong? It’s really just two faces of the same coin,” he mockingly added.